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Pro bikes, January 21, 2008

Lance Armstrong's Trek Madone 6.9 Livestrong

(Click for larger image)
Photo ©: Mark Gunter

It is about the bike...

By Les Clarke

A SRAM Red crankset fitted with an SRM
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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Lance Armstrong's fight against cancer
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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That 1274 figure appears
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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Armstrong honours the 27.5 million people
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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Ben Coates of Trek says that
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

One of the first observations Trek’s team liaison Ben Coates tells Cyclingnews about is the number of fellow pro riders that ask to be photographed with Lance Armstrong’s Trek Madone 6.9, complete with Livestrong livery. Astana team mechanic Chris agrees, as he checks the weight of the rig.

"Seven twenty six," says Chris to Silence-Lotto mechanic Steven in Flemish. They then discuss the various aspects of Lance’s bike compared to Matt Lloyd’s Silence-Lotto Canyon, the bike I have just been measuring and photographing for this section of Cyclingnews. It’s a nice exchange between two experienced wrenchers who have seen most of the bike exotica the pro peloton has on offer.

"This is a stock bike, we pulled it right off the line," says Coates. "There’s no special person that builds Lance’s bikes, no special process they go through... Someone went to the back of the factory in Waterloo, Wisconsin and took the bike off the line and painted it up."

We did this bike in less than 10 days - from a twinkle in the designer’s eye to the delivery here in Adelaide," says Coates. "It was really a remarkable feat to pull it together - basically, all we got from Lance was, ‘Maybe think about how long I’ve been retired’.

Where it gets all customised is in the paintjob. The number 1274 represents the number of days Armstrong was retired before making his comeback at the Cancer Council Classic in Adelaide, whilst 27.5 represents the millions of people who have died from the disease in the time since the seven-time Tour de France champion stepped off the podium in Paris after sealing his last Tour crown.

Coates explains that all the work was done in Waterloo, the paintjob by Project One. "It’s not the Project One of old," he says. "It’s which cranks and gruppo you want, what colour paint you want, what colour housing, brake hoods, saddle… the works. It’s the next evolution of Project One. This bike was done completely within the group."

He tells Cyclingnews that the company is working on a commercially viable version of the bike, although this is not an easy task as it took 31 hours of just painting time to incorporate the detail and themes present on this Madone. "It’s all paint - no decals - and there’s no production process for a bike this intricate," he adds.

Other than the paintjob, my first observations are that the stem and top tube look quite long. After seeing Armstrong this week I make the conclusion that this is needs to be the case as the American possesses long limbs. His arms and legs give him a ‘stretched’ appearance, hence the longer bar and stem.

Overall, like Armstrong’s comeback, it’s a machine designed to convey a message, and unlike the statement he’s made in the past, this time it might just be a bit about the bike.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mark Gunter/www.pbase.com/gunterphotograph

Full specification

Frame: Trek Madone 6.9, size 58
Fork: Bontrager XXX

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.79m (5' 10") ; Weight: 76kg (164lb)
Seat tube length, c-c: 500mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 598mm
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 750mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 565mm
C of front wheel to top of bars (next to stem): 605mm
Top tube length: 572mm (horizontal)

Front brake: SRAM Red
Rear brake: SRAM Red
Brake levers: SRAM Red
Front derailleur: SRAM Red
Rear derailleur: SRAM Red
Shift levers: SRAM Red Double Tap
Cassette: SRAM OG-1090 (11-21)
Chain: SRAM PC 1090 Powerchain
Crankset: SRAM PowerMeter Pro, 175mm, 39/53T
Bottom bracket: SRAM GXP Team

Wheelset: Bontrager Aeolus 5.0
Front tyre: Hutchinson tubular, 700x22c
Rear tyre: Hutchinson tubular, 700x24c

Bars: Bontrager Race XXX Lite, 44cm
Stem: Bontrager Race XXX Lite, 120mm
Headset: Cane Creek integrated
Tape/grip: Bontrager

Pedals: Shimano Dura Ace
Seat post: Integrated
Saddle: Bontrager
Bottle cages: Trek
Computer: SRM
Other accessories: SRM

Total bike weight: 7.26kg (15.98lb)